Finding God In The Midst Of Our Storms

used by permission by M.Sullivan Photographs "Lake Superior Storm"

used by permission by M.Sullivan Photographs
“Lake Superior Storm”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

These were the first bible verses I memorized.

It was over 30 years ago when my mother died and a time for spiritual growth for me. I was a young wife and mother and life was good. My husband had a good job, we were buying our home and I was able to be a stay at home mom.  Then my mother passed away after suffering from heart disease and kidney failure. She was 57.

Most of that time is a blur to me, today it seems so surreal as I watched my dear mother die.  Now I was an orphan, both parents are gone, my brother gone, my sister and I only had each other now and we were both struggling with our grief not knowing how to help each other.

A few months later DH announced he wanted to re-enlist in the Army.  Since I was an Army brat I was supportive and excited for this change and putting the past few months behind me, until he left home for training, that is, which left me still grieving my mother, caring for a 2 yr old and for the first time in my life I was alone.  I felt as if I was sinking fast.

A lady I had not known that well from church invited me to lunch.  We basically traveled in different circles. I had perceived her as having the “perfect” life, the “perfect” family, the “perfect” home, well, basically perfect everything. I assumed she was to “good” for me. As I was blessed to get to know her I realized it was her relationship with Jesus that reflected her perfect love for our Lord.

If I had not accepted her invitation because of how I viewed her life I would have missed out having a very special person in my life not to mention all the people I might have kept at arm’s length because of my problem with categorizing people by their outward appearance.  Even though we have lost touch through the  years, I will never forget SH and how she came into my life at a time that I needed her. I will forever be grateful how she listened to God’s call and ministered to me.

She taught me graciousness and humility. She also taught me my first life lesson on the promises from Jesus.

During that first lunch she ministered to me in ways I never imagined.  She was understanding, she listened. She gave me a shoulder to lean on when I did not realize I needed a shoulder to lean on.  She showed me the love of Jesus.  She showed me the way to peace is through my relationship with Jesus.  She shared with me her testimony and introduced me to the writings of Catherine Marshall and Cory ten Boom.  During our long talks she counseled me and encouraged me.

SH planted a mustard seed that day and over 30 years later it is still growing and is producing fruit.  (parable of the mustard seed)

The first verse she shared withe me that day was Isaiah 41:10 ~ “do not fear, for I am with you”..powerful words for someone who felt so alone.  That day God’s peace settled all around me.  I was not alone – God was with me giving me strength to face each new day without my mother and He was with me during those long lonely days and nights as I waited for DH to finish training and receive his orders, so we could all be together again.  

One of the most precious gifts I have ever received was from SH, it was the gift of prayer.  In Philippians 4:7 I experienced the power of prayer, “…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Since that day there have been many more trials and sorrows; and blessed days of joys and happiness. There have been obstacles to overcome.  Some days I have leaned on Jesus and most days I try to handle things myself.  But God always gently leads me back to these two verses that enable me to hand my concerns over to Him, who promised to never leave me and to always give me the strength to endure. 

Life is not always fair.  Life is unpredictable at times the circumstances and events in our lives can have our life spin out of control.  We may feel as if we are drowning in the storms of life and unable to catch a life-preserver.  Jesus is that life-preserver and He is always within reach. It is up to us to reach out to Jesus and let Him calm our storms.

“Do not be anxious … (come to Me with your fears and anxiety and I, your Heavenly Father) will give you peace and guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ”

Are you anxious today? What is your fear? What is troubling you and causing you stress?  Whatever you are going through – reach out and cling tightly to Jesus and never let go and experience “the peace of God that transcends all understanding”.

 

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About Patty B

My life centers around my faith in God and my family. www.specialmomentsinphotos.wordpress.com www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com
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47 Responses to Finding God In The Midst Of Our Storms

  1. ahh-h what a lovely testimony Patty – thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

  2. I am so glad you found the comfort you needed, Patty.

  3. Your words of experience in trusting God’s promises are so encouraging! They go along with so many of our trials and detours in life. Thank you for your beacon of hope for others that are overwhelmed. Shalom 🙂

  4. Patty, your words encouraged me today! I love Catherine Marshall’s writing and have many of her books in my secretary desk bookcase… treasures!

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Patty B says:

      They are treasurers that is for sure. She was a woman of God and we are blessed to be able to read her books. Praise God that He encouraged you today. 😉 God bless you.

  5. Debra says:

    A beautiful testimony. Blessings to you Patty.
    Debra

  6. Yes, a lovely testimony. How wonderful it is that God puts such mature and faithful people into our lives and through them gently leads us closer to Himself. We never forget them and are ever thankful. The love of God in and through His people is very powerful. 🙂

  7. imconfident says:

    No, life isn’t always fair and we don’t understand why things happen to us. I believe that God brings people into our lives for a purpose and He sent this woman to minister to your needs. You were truly blessed when you walked through the door He left open for you. God is always there for us even when we don’t know it.

    • Patty B says:

      Beautifully said, I try not to dwell on the many doors of opportunities God had opened for me and I did not walk through. But that said,He always blesses us regardless if we take advantage of the opportunities He gives or not.

  8. Denise Hisey says:

    A beautiful post, Patty. Your sweet and tender self always shines.
    Thank you for a wonderful reminder to lean on Him.

  9. LubbyGirl says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I needed to read this today. Changes are hard for me sometimes, and a bit scary, so I am grateful for the reminder that He’s got my back.

  10. Patty, I love this post for so many reasons ~ so happy you followed your intuition and let her into your life ~ when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Big hugs to you! xo

  11. Your post this morning was exactly what I needed to read …to reinforce my thoughts about an issue. I quoted that scripture of Philippians last night when I was praying just before bed feeling overwhelmed and yet knowing that Jesus told us not to but to pray …. I have a ‘habit’ for lack of a better word of handing things over to God…and then taking them back….I say ‘I trust You’ but then knowing my heart and mind I say…. ” I believe…Lord help thou my unbelief” ….Thanks Patty…Diane

    • Patty B says:

      Thank you for your comment Diane – I think we all have a “habit” of taking back our problems after we hand them over to God. I am humbled that God used my story for you today. May God bless you with answered prayers for your issue and bring you peace.

  12. optimisticgladness says:

    This is so beautiful Patty. I am amazed how God puts people in our lives, just when we need them. He takes care of His children. Love it.

  13. Kerri says:

    Beautifully expressed!

  14. Great advice. I need to remember that often. Thank you.

  15. Sheryl says:

    A beautiful, thoughtfully expressed post. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Loved the post. My takeaway is the need to shift our attachments from our insecurities to the Almighty. How do we gain the consciousness to do that? Does it have to be our experience of life?

    Shakti

    • Patty B says:

      Good question, I am no theologian, but I would think it would have to come from our experiences of life, but not necessarily the bad experiences, I feel it is all of the..I do believe we first have to know His Word. Those two bible verses opened up a new life for me in Jesus. Before that I did not know any, I believe it was then that I started to let go of my insecurities and find the peace in Jesus I needed to move forward. Would I have found it without this experience, yes, because God would have used another one. thank you for that thoughtful question…

  17. I am so glad I read this today. With events around the world and also some very near to me, your message is very uplifting. Thank you!

    • Patty B says:

      God is amazing at how He knows what we will need. Last night at Bible Study we sang “He Lives”…this past weekend, 3 friends have been called home, and singing that last night was such a comfort knowing that because He lives all of our fears are gone .. ” And then as death Gives way to victory I’ll see the lights Of glory and I’ll know he lives” The songs we sing are picked out weeks in advance. He knew we would all be needing to hear that song last night.

  18. lifeofaministermom says:

    Reading this has truly lifted my spirits this morning! What a beautiful share and isn’t our God so amazing to know the what, when and who’s to send into our lives exactly when we need them?! On the night that my father died, I went straight to my Word and to Philippians 4:6-7. I’m so grateful that I’m constantly maturing in Him and that He’s grown me to a place of knowing who to turn to for every answer and every comfort. Sometimes I’m a “do it myselfer” too ;), but God always reminds me that He never asked us to go thru life alone. God is SO good!!

    • Patty B says:

      I am glad you were able to find comfort in God’s word that night. God is indeed so good – and keeps His promises. I am glad we do not go through this world alone, having Him and a sister in Christ to go through it with. 🙂

  19. Thank you for sharing your testimony and causing us to praise God for His amazing work in our lives.

  20. God is our healer and he calms our restless soul. He comfort our pain and help us be renewed once more. With the recent tragedy in Boston, we are again reminded that we need God during this dark times.

  21. hopesquires says:

    Patty — as I catch up on your blog, it strikes me that this month-old post is one you should cling to for yourself in this time of grief. As writers, we mostly think of writing for others, but sometimes we ourselves are the ones who most need to hear our own message of hope. Peace be with you.

    • Patty B says:

      I never thought I would be clinging to these words so soon. This is indeed our biggest storm.

      • hopesquires says:

        I imagine it is. But remember that God is God of the storm, too, and He will walk beside you through this one. Peace and blessings to you and your family as you grieve.

      • Patty B says:

        Amen! Even though I found it hard to pray at first (still do at times) all of us had never felt alone – God has indeed kept His promises to never leave us and He kept promise to my DH to welcome him Home.

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